Thomas Robinson would have been a certain first round draft choice had he come out for the NBA Draft alongside all of his Kansas Jayhawks teammates. Marcus Morris, Markieff Morris and Josh Selby all went in the NBA Draft and Robinson would have made a fourth, but now he’s ready to take the stage front and center for a Jayhawks team that might be the thinnest in years. And it’s that chance to shine and work with KU assistant coach Danny Manning that brought him back.
“One of my main reasons for coming back (and not turning pro) was to spend more time with Danny," Robinson said in a recent interview. "He gives me a list of moves I can do. There’s a lot more stuff he’s teaching me now that he wouldn’t have told me as a freshman."
Not only is his development into the team MVP important, but Robinson also must gain stamina to be a player for the majority of the game. Given the lack of depth, Bill Self says he needs to avoid foul trouble and be able to make an impact for longer stretches of time.
“We have not had a lot of guys play 30 minutes (before) because we’ve had enough depth to keep guys fresh,” said Self. “We could literally have starters that could all play that (30 minutes) if they stay out of foul trouble. Thomas is as important as anybody we’ve had to keep on the court.”
There’s no doubt this is a tenuous season for the Jayhawks, but with a talent like Robinson in house, they’ll still be major players in the Big 12.